In April 2022, a Hennepin County jury found ex-Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin guilty of second-degree murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter in the death of George Floyd. Chauvin also filed to appeal his conviction last year. On Monday, the Minnesota Court of Appeals ruled that Derek Chauvin is still a murderer who killed Floyd by pressing his knee into his neck for the better part of 10 minutes while a crowd (and eventually, the world) watched in horror.
According to Axios, the court rejected Chauvin’s petition to throw out his conviction, which argued that he was unable to get a fair trial due to media coverage and the threat of protests.
Obviously, America has a long history of—*checks notes*—convicting white police officers for racist police brutality in order to avoid—*checks again*—protests by people who are already protesting.
“The state, which handled the prosecution, countered that moving the venue wouldn’t have made a difference given national coverage of Floyd’s death,” Axios reported.
At this point, Chauvin should just accept that he’s a violent criminal who will rightfully spend the rest of his natural life behind bars. Even if, by some twist of white supremacist fate, he had successfully appealed his state conviction, he would still have to serve the 21-year sentence he was handed after he pleaded guilty in federal court to violating Floyd’s civil rights.
Fortunately, neither court appears to be budging on holding Chauvin accountable for Floyd’s death. He got a fair trial and a fair chance, which is more than he ever gave George Floyd.
Floyd died on May 25, 2020, after Chauvin, who is white, used his knee to pin the Black man’s neck to the ground for 9 1/2 minutes. A bystander video captured Floyd’s fading cries of “I can’t breathe.” Floyd’s death touched off protests around the world, some of which turned violent, and forced a national reckoning with police brutality and racism.
“Police officers undoubtedly have a challenging, difficult, and sometimes dangerous job. However, no one is above the law,” Appeals Judge Peter Reyes wrote for the panel. “When they commit a crime, they must be held accountable just as those individuals that they lawfully apprehend. The law only permits police officers to use reasonable force when effecting a lawful arrest. Chauvin crossed that line here when he used unreasonable force on Floyd.”
Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison, who assembled the prosecution team, said in a statement that he was “grateful we have a system where everyone, no matter how egregious their offense, is entitled to due process and fair treatment.”
“The Court’s decision today shows once again no one is above the law — and no one is beneath it,” Ellison said.
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